Guthrie - Guthrie Presbyterian Church

Black and white photo of small white church with tall pointed steeple

When the railroad came through from St. Thomas to Courtright in 1872, the building and settling boom in Moore Township was on. This was a time of establishing industries, towns and churches. One of the earliest churches which was established in the southern section of the township was Guthrie Presbyterian Church in 1884. During this first year of existence as a congregation, worship services for Guthrie were conducted in the area schoolhouse. 

In 1885, a frame church building was erected on the corner of Kimball Sideroad and the 2nd line of Moore. At the opening and dedication ceremonies for the building, which took place June 7, 1885, the church which normally seated 250 was crammed with 300 people. Services were conducted by Rev. John Thompson of Sarnia. On that occasion, Mrs. MacDonald of Brigden Presbyterian Church presented the young congregation with a beautiful pulpit Bible bound in Morocco leather. Unfortunately, the social evening and lecture had to be postponed due to severe thunderstorms.

Black Creek and Wilkesport congregations were associated with the Guthrie charge. When the Plum Creek congregation was established in 1891, the charges were shuffled so that the Guthrie charge consisted of Guthrie, Black Creek, and Plum Creek. 

The charge was cared for by students, missionaries, lay ministers and traveling ministers during its early years. Rev. Tibb from Burns church supervised and guided these services and students until 1898. Rev. Tibb performed the first baptism in Guthrie church on Sept. 12, 1885. He also moderated the first session meeting where a communion roll of 20 members was drawn up. Also in 1885, John Thompson and David Grey were elected as elders.

Plans were made in 1890 to build a manse. Early records indicate that considerable funds were raised for this purpose through tea meetings and social gatherings. Alex McBean sold ½ acre of land beside the church for the manse for a sum of $50. James White was the contractor and erected the manse for $614.50. The first occupant of the manse was Rev. R.T. Cockburn, who was inducted to Guthrie and its 3 point charge on Jan. 21, 1898. Subsequent ministers up to the time of the church union were: Rev. D. Johnston, 1900-1906; Rev. W.D. McLean, 1907-1913: Rev. G.S. Milligan, 1913-1917; Rev. P.M. McEachern, 1917-1918; and Rev. H.W. Hagelstein, 1922-1924. During these pastorates, the congregation was also attended by various student ministers. 

In June 1925, the Guthrie Presbyterian church joined with Waubuno Methodist church to form Calvary United. This congregation worshipped in the Guthrie church.